David H. Keith

Biography

David is an award-winning fiction author, poet, and photographer with over 30 years experience. He is also a professional freelance editor and has worked as a newspaper reporter/photographer and editor, and desktop publishing specialist in Missouri, Kansas, and South Dakota. He has owned a desktop publishing business and has published a series of e-books, links to which may be found on his and his wife's joint website, November First Publications.

He currently lives and works in Wichita, Kansas. He has two phenomenal women in his life: his beautiful wife, author Elizabeth Rowan Keith, and their dog, Belle.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Kansas City area, smack dab in the middle of the US. I went on to many different places after high school, but that's where I grew up. I lived on 40 acres with my mom and evil little sister until I was about 11, then Mom had to leave the farm and we moved into a house in the south-central part of KC, which was home until I enlisted in the Army. There's no easy way to put this, so I'll be my usual blunt self and say we were poor. Dirt poor. We lived on potatoes for months and, were it not for the generosity of family or neighbors, would have lived on the things pretty much indefinitely.

How did this influence my writing? The obvious answer is that it gave me a perspective many people don't have. Growing up on the farm, I gained a reverence for life and nature and gratitude for simple things. I also learned from my mom to not be afraid to speak my mind - and to handle bullies by fighting back. I guess I learned courage. I'm not a bully, nor do I tolerate the critters.
When did you first start writing?
Other than the requisite "I will not talk in class" about a billion times while in grade school or various papers assigned by teachers, I began writing "seriously" when I was about 15 or so. I began to write the quintessential "Great American Novel." Unfortunately, it would have made even Bulwer-Lytton shudder, and I knew it. I mercifully put the thing out of its misery, and tried to forget about writing, believing myself to be a no-talent - even being a hack would have been an exponential step up.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find David H. Keith online


Books

Tales from The Painted Door V: The Way Home
By
Series: Tales from The Painted Door, Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,880. Language: American English. Published: April 4, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Charley Thornton left home ten years ago and is now on his way back to try to reconcile with his family. He and Colleen, his collie companion, show up at The Painted Door one stormy night looking for a bite of food and some water. Charley learns that home begins in the heart. WARNING: Contains harsh language and may not be suitable for readers under 18.
Tales from The Painted Door IV: The Pumpkin Carvers
By
Series: Tales from The Painted Door, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,650. Language: American English. Published: March 27, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
(5.00 from 1 review)
Halloween is always a reason to party at The Painted Door, with costumed patrons and staff, decorations, and abundant food and drink. In the fourth installment of award-winning author David H. Keith’s acclaimed Tales from The Painted Door series, Mike and Shelly, two of The Door’s regulars, will never forget this particular Halloween.
Herbert the Black
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,720. Language: American English. Published: October 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Herbert is a serial killer...of a different sort. He has terrorized a small town in eastern South Dakota for some three years, but the police have done nothing about it. They don’t even know about his murders, but they will. They will, thanks to Sean and Inge O’Malley, who live and run a business in town. WARNING: May not be suitable for children under 18 due to graphic violence.
Tales from The Painted Door III: Molly's Walk
By
Series: Tales from The Painted Door, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 10,700. Language: American English. Published: July 17, 2013. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
An old woman stumbles into The Door and sets off an emotional chain that leaves Chris, Shelly, Mike, and some of the others pondering their own lives and values. That's especially true for Davaidh, who comes face to face with someone from his past and must deal with the ramifications.
The Cabin
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,940. Language: American English. Published: March 20, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Suspense/Mystery
(5.00 from 1 review)
When he picked her up for a romantic weekend getaway, she was not prepared for what he had in mind. WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND SEX. NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER READERS.
The Reaper Files
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 7,960. Language: American English. Published: March 20, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
I hereby present five tales of the macabre drawn from the recesses of the files of the Reaper. If you revel in stories of horror with a twist, then this is perfect for you. CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE AND LANGUAGE.
Tales from The Painted Door II: Wallace
By
Series: Tales from The Painted Door, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,010. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literature » Drama
(5.00 from 1 review)
An old man, a semi-regular at the Door, walks in one quiet Thursday evening and begins drinking his usual beverage. Normally, he’d just drink quietly by himself, pay, and leave. Not this night. This night he reveals at least part of the reason he is what he is. Does it free him from his ghosts or does it just bring him a moment of peace? Does it really matter?
Glorious Fools
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,820. Language: American English. Published: January 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Some say Paramedics and other public safety workers are fools for doing what they do: rush into places sane people are trying their best to get out of. They may be right. Those people often owe their lives to these fools. This is a story about one of those glorious fools.
The Road to Tucson
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,420. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2012. Category: Fiction » Literature » Drama
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The love of his life was killed by a drunk driver. Devastated, he set out afoot to disappear into the American desert. The Universe, however, had other ideas for him.
Tales from The Painted Door I: Davaidh & Annie
By
Series: Tales from The Painted Door, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 2,220. Language: American English. Published: September 29, 2012. Category: Fiction » Inspirational
(4.00 from 1 review)
The Painted Door is a fictional neighborhood bar. Although set in Wichita, Kansas, it could be in any town or city in the United States. Everyone who enters its door, whether regular or just stopping by for a quick beer, has a story to tell. This is the first in a series of those stories.
Two Dozen Visions
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 3,950. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2012. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
In this small collection of poems, arranged as an orchestral symphony, David H. Keith explores love and general observations of the human condition. He even adds a chuckle or two as a bit of respite between these two larger themes.
Loving the Fog
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 2,210. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
(4.00 from 1 review)
In the silence of a foggy, lonely country road, strange things can happen. Was it her imagination, or…?
Cougar
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 8,450. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
(4.00 from 1 review)
Hunger gnaws at the belly of a hunting night-stalker. Even the fiercest predator doesn't always win.
Hero in a Red Suit
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,580. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2011. Category: Fiction » Holiday » Humorous
The citizens of a small town in the Old West are held virtual captives by a cruel overlord. A Hero arrives one cold winter's day to save them.
Alysse
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,820. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
This is a gritty story of love realized too late, and the price some are willing to pay to be with their beloved.

David H. Keith’s tag cloud

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David H. Keith's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by David H. Keith

  • 7 Reasons To Begin Freelance Writing Online on Jan. 30, 2012

    I recommend this guide to anyone who is considering a freelance career in writing for online media. Paul writes in an intelligent, easy to follow voice and gives great advice for the newbie freelancer. He has even taken pity on those of us whose eyes are not quite what they used to be and has used a large, easy-to-read font. David H. Keith
  • One Way To Mars on March 11, 2012

    A good yarn, this, although probably more interesting to the middle school set than to adults. Weston keeps the simple plot on line and writes in an easy-to-read style. Having read Heinlein, Azimov, and Bradbury in my youth and grown up with Star Trek, this isn't exactly my cup of tea, but I recommend it to younger teenagers. David Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith
  • The Violin on March 11, 2012

    Frankly, I *like* this story. Some may find it simplistic, but I see majick in it - the true majick of hope and of endurance of our human spirit. I must admit that, as Spirit-brother of Wolf, I was a bit put out by Birk's picturing them as evil, but I nonetheless liked the way Sophie discovered her true majick at last. Well done, Mr. Birk, well done. David Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith
  • Behind The Nazi Line on April 03, 2012
    (no rating)
    A complete waste of time. It reads as if written by a child, and makes no sense whatever. As Gabion noted, the formatting is completely wrong. Gabion, however, was generous with his one-star rating. I give it negative two stars.
  • The Trouble with Thorndyke on April 06, 2012
    (no rating)
    My congratulations to the eminent members of The Writers Block. They have crafted a pleasant, if simplistic, little yarn and even invite the reader into the twisted world of us writers. Just as musicians will encourage their audiences to join in the song, The Writers Block's crew drags the reader in to join in the ending chorus of "their" song. Readers will find this easy to read and engaging from the beginning. I initially envisioned this project as akin to the "Thieves' World" series in the 1970s. It isn't. It's its own beast, and I do look forward to other offerings by this group of writers. Oh, and for the record, I preferred Alternate Ending 17-A. David H. Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/vieww/DHKeith
  • The Mighty, Humble COMMA. on April 07, 2012

    This is a useful book, especially given the epidemic of comma abuse in the nation today. As a professional editor, all I can do is shake my head sadly and try to stay with the copy as much as possible. If I'm editing a piece, I am most picky about commas, apostrophes, spelling, and all those "little things" that enable our writing to serve its primary purpose: to communicate *something* to the reader. My thanks to Murray. He has done a service to all writers, and maybe - just maybe - helped make our jobs as editors a bit easier. It's just too bad that he has chosen to not make printable versions (.pdf or, at the least, .rtf) available for those of us who do not, for one reason or another, possess either a Kindle or even internet access, or for those of us who simply prefer having a hard copy reference "book" handy when writing or editing. For that reason, I am forced to give him only two stars. His oversight seems somewhat a slap in the face to we who still prefer the printed page. David Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DHKeith
  • The Mighty, Humble COMMA. on April 07, 2012

    Murray has written a very timely book particularly in light of the comma abuse epidemic that is currently running amok in this nation. My congratulations to him for that. It is just too bad that he has apparently decided to not offer his book in printable form - .pdf or, at the very least, .rtf - for those of us who do not, for some reason or other, have e-reading capability or who simply prefer having a hard copy handy to which to refer without being forced to interrupt our writing or editing to open up another e-file. That oversight of Murray's is most unfortunate, and it has cost him in my opinion. His book is timely, yes, but he failed to make it universally available. For that, I can only award him two stars. David H. Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DHKeith
  • A Tale of Two Legacies on April 13, 2012

    A well-written, entertaining book that is refreshing in that it is written intelligently and the author paid attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. He is to be congratulated for that alone; that he also wrote an engaging story only makes it better. I especially liked Gardner's details about Albuquerque's terrain features, physical layout, and history. All in all, I would highly recommend this book to anyone. David H. Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith
  • The Counterrevolutionary and Royal Army of America on April 20, 2012
    (no rating)
    Oh, brother. This is the most egregious, self-aggrandizing piece of clap-trap I have had the displeasure to read in a long time. What Martin is doing is nothing less than calling for a Catholic jihad - yet another Crusade and Inquisition. I'm sure the Pope is beside himself with bloody-minded glee. From his first paragraph, Martin shows his utter ignorance and stilted world-view. "One of the single most profound tragedies...is that one may no longer defend a belief, much less a religion." Oh, really? According to whom? To Martin, and very few others, I'll wager. The whole bloody world is "defending [their] beliefs [and] religion," or has Martin been hiding under a rock the past few decades? But, wait, it gets better. Martin goes on to condemn his perceived inability to defend his beliefs as "akin to naively, and arrogantly, 'forcing one's personal beliefs' on ohers." He then wastes over 15,000 words trying to do just that, only the beliefs he wants the entire world to have are his. And so Martin's screed continues. His logic is so skewed as to not resemble any logic system at all. His arguments are either retreads of the Middle Ages or utterly invalid and, indeed, even self-defeating. This is just what we need in America: another "army" of pseudo-religious fanatic fruitcakes seeking to force the rest of us to believe their poison. What's next, Martin? "Catholic" suicide bombers? Oh, and make absolutely no mistake, Martin: I am in no way trying to force any beliefs - be they my own or the majority's - onto you. You have the absolute freedom and right to your own beliefs. What you do not have is the right to make me believe them. If it were possible, I'd give this thing a negative multi-star rating. David H. Keith
  • The Silver Collar on April 20, 2012

    A good read, this. I like the way it gives a new twist to the genre; frankly, it's about time. I look forward to reading more of Kate Policani's stories. David H. Keith
  • Five Bullets on May 11, 2012

    A well-written tale that brought back too many memories. Kudos to Writerly for an easy-to-read story that evokes the sights, sounds, and emotions of war - and adds a twist just to make it the more interesting. Well-done. David Keith Nam '68 and Smashwords author
  • Dog Star on May 25, 2012

    A well-written yarn, this -- articulate, intelligent, and captivating. Carver writes in the tradition of masters like Azimov, Heinlein, or Bradbury -- even his spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct. That alone is a wonderful relief in this day of semiliteracy, textspeak, and just plain laziness that passes for writing. I used to have a white labrador retriever that I named Sam. In his case, it was an acronym for Stupid-Arsed Mutt, which he very happily lived up to. Eminently lovable, but dumb as dirt. After meeting Carver's Sam, I'm going to have to rethink that. I look forward to reading more of Carver's work. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/dhkeith
  • Hidden Behind Words on May 29, 2012

    This book should be accompanied by a warning: MAY RATTLE YOUR CAGE AND MAKE YOU QUESTION YOUR ASSUMPTIONS! It's quirky in places, full of double entendres, and quite provocative and thoughtful. Read this if you fancy a wee journey into the oft-twisted mind of a very talented poet. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/dhkeith
  • The Builders' Report on June 01, 2012

    Ms. Dubot has done it again. She has written a well-crafted love story, only this time set in the modern day and in London. I found her characters quite believable and the storyline not only plausible (if a tad idealistic) but entertaining - and I'm not all that big a fan of romance novels. I'll make an exception for Ms. Dubot, however. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good love story. Huzzah! David H. Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Hunger Pains on June 10, 2012

    I thought this would be just another cannibalism-under-duress story a la the Donner Party or the Brazilian soccer team. Burdon surprised me. Well-done. I do enjoy a surprise. David H. Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Messages from Henry on June 17, 2012

    This is a cute story that just happens to contain a goodly measure of suspense. Although it's not really adult fare, I can see where teenagers and young adults would enjoy it. I found myself caught up in the uncertainties of the story and wondering what was going to happen to Henry. Ms. Scarbery wrote a fine wee tale. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Snapshots on June 17, 2012

    These are some inspiring stories, although a bit predictable and even trite, but full of optimism and hope -- both of which are in horribly short supply these days. Ms. Herzer has a refreshing take on life and love. I truly hope she never loses that. With that said, it is obvious that English is not her first language. That's not a bad thing, mind, but it shows in her use of the niceties such as punctuation and grammar. I believe she could be a master storyteller were she to brush up on these small details - the devil being in those details. I think this book is a much-needed respite from the doom, gloom, and alienation of today's world - her story about delivering pizza, in fact, faces that very dilemma. I strongly recommend people read this book at least once. My congratulations to Ms. Herzer. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Baby Wipes on June 18, 2012

    Okayyyyyy. Interesting tale and Barton seems to be a disciplined writer - both factors much to the good. I must have become jaded, though, because it left me confused. For instance, what exactly happened to kill William and all the others? Who exactly was the alien? Metaphor for God? World savior? Interstellar tourist or treasure hunter? Why wasn't William the least bit curious about how he got to be dead? If it were me, I'd be demanding a few explanations before trotting off after an oddly-dressed ET - like where are we, *when* are we, what the hel happened. And, well, I quite frankly found the alien's reason for saving William a huge stretch. Perhaps Barton should give a few more details, or expand this into a larger story. I found the premise interesting, but Barton's handling of it just left me frustrated and unsatisfied. I'd really like to know more of the story. Three stars for trying - and for paying attention to the details of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpubications.weebly.com
  • Baby Wipes on June 18, 2012

    Okayyyyyy. Interesting tale and Barton seems to be a disciplined writer - both factors much to the good. I must have become jaded, though, because it left me confused. For instance, what exactly happened to kill William and all the others? Who exactly was the alien? Metaphor for God? World savior? Interstellar tourist or trerasure hunter? Why wasn't William the least bit curious about he got to be dead? If it were me, I'd be demanding a few explanations before going trotting off after an oddly-dressed ET - like where are we, *when* are we, what the hel happened. And, well, I quite frankly found the alien's reason for saving William a huge stretch. Perhaps Barton should give a few more details, or expand this into a larger story. I found the premise interesting, but Barton's handling of it just left me frustrated and unsatisfied. I'd really like to know more of the story. Three stars for trying - and for paying attention to the details of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpubications.weebly.com
  • Little Red Hood (An Erotic Fairy Tale) on July 01, 2012

    My mother used to tell me "if you can't say something nice about someone, then don't say anything at all." Sound advice, that, but not always possible. Ms. Black's story was, um, an interesting take on the traditional Red Riding Hood fable from childhood. Sadly, I found it hard to read and really get into. Ms. Black makes the same mistakes so many young writers do (and I'm assuming she is, in fact, young): she uses a font that is hard on the eyes, pays little heed to basic grammar, punctuation, and word use, and greatly overuses adverbs and adjectives. These things, like spices, should be used sparingly and with discretion. I don't know if Ms. Black was in a hurry to publish or just didn't take the time to proofread her manuscript...and that's a shame. It's an interesting story, but her inattention to the details of good writing detract from it immensely. I would suggest she go back and revise this story, paying much greater attention to the minutiae of writing (grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word use) and then republish. I wish her a great deal of luck. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublishing.weebly.com
  • Every which way but East on July 15, 2012

    Yep, you gotta' be a bit warped to enjoy this novel. I loved it. It's, as Wilde says, quirky and at times even a bit credulity-straining, but it's a good read. Wilde does his usual bang-up job of crafting a tale that sucks you into its maw, masticates you, and then spits you out at the very end - and makes you keep on coming back for more. I just had to find out what happened and how our intrepid heroes once again saved the universe. Wilde did not disappoint me. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Beaner on July 20, 2012

    This is an excellent story, well told. The dialogue and actions are exactly what one would expect of these men. It's almost as if Rayburn had been there. I do have a couple small editor-type quibbles, though: first, why did Rayburn choose that horrid font? It makes his book look more like an infomercial or comic book - and it is neither. Secondly, the past tense of the verb "to lead" is "led." Just sayin'. Still, it's not enough for me to ding him or his book too severely. I do plan to read more of his work in future. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/dhkeith
  • For God and Country on July 21, 2012

    John Lennon asked people to "Imagine." Anna Scott Graham has done just that in this story of two separate worlds - the yin-yang of what we are seeing in the United States, and indeed the world, today. Not only does she make her point in a cogent and powerful manner, she does so with an eye toward just plain good story-telling - the sort of tale the tribal elders would spin to the young at the evening's campfire. While parts of Ms. Graham's story stretches one's credulity - such as her assertion that two separate cultures at "opposite ends of the galaxy" are biologically compatible - the story itself is so very compelling and real. We could very well be the world Cade Walton and Drew Clemmons escaped from. Never preachy or shrill, Ms. Graham makes her point with compassion, sensitivity, and power. I think Lennon would approve. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/dhkeith
  • Blurbing It Out on July 29, 2012

    Kudos to Porretto! At last, someone who cares as much about the "little things" - spelling, punctuation, and grammar - as I. This is a timely guide for newbie writers, and for those who consider spelling and the rest with disdain. If your blurbs are poorly written, I simply assume your books are, too, and don't waste my time with them. Porretto understands this. Hats off to you, Mr. Porretto. I wish I'd had the idea for this first, so a double salute to you. To all writers: read this book. Believe it. Follow its precepts. The worst thing that can happen is that your writing will begin selling. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith
  • Tracking Down Gruppenführer Kunitz on July 30, 2012

    This is a tight, well-woven story with characters who are believable and so very human - even the ill-fated adjutant. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys tales of intrigue and revenge. One comment, though, to Del Bourgo: you might want to correct a factual error in your descriptions. The year 1949 was post-war, not pre-war. I read that but decided to read the story anyway, despite my misgivings. I'm glad I did, but perhaps other, more discerning, readers would not bother. That would be their loss, but I understand their reluctance. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith
  • Going Bare! on Oct. 02, 2012

    I must say I enjoyed reading about naturism, although I found the book itself tedious - more about that later. I have felt as Harding does about nudity, although I've not yet had the courage to live the life. That's my failing. I agree with him that naturism is, well, the natural way of life, any puritanical rantings notwithstanding. There was a time when nudity was the only option. I, too, would rather be "dressed" by the sun or the moon than any fabric. He is spot on, to, that the naturist lifestyle is truly egalitarian, which may be one reason would-be despots rail so mightily against it. With that said, there is a problem which, as a professional editor, I feel merits serious consideration. To be quite blunt, Harding really should fire his "proofreader" forthwith. If this is indicative of that person's "work," then I must seriously question said person's literacy. The book is filled with the most egregious grammatical and other errors; even taking into consideration that it was written in British English, the grammatical errors are unforgivable. And that's really too bad because Harding does have some good ideas and thoughts. As the book is now, he loses a great deal of his message because of the poor grammar. And he loses points from me. For his message, five stars. For horrid presentation, minus three stars. Total: two stars. I would strongly suggest that Harding take this to a proper proofreader and republish. He does have a most cogent point and I agree with that wholeheartedly. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.smashwords.com/profile/dhkeith
  • Pirates of the Poesasian on Oct. 10, 2012

    A story worthy of Stevenson or Verne, Turner spins a yarn brimming with derring-do, danger, gore, mayhem, slaughter, and swash-buckling enough to keep any pirate connoisseur happy. It reminded me of part "Pirates of the Carribean," part "Kidnapped," and I swear I could see Errol Flynn grinning his Captain Blood grin as cutlasses, rapiers, and sabres slashed around him. I happily recommend this book to any who love sea adventures, especially those that are written with intelligence and a flair for blood-letting. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Eyes on Oct. 12, 2012

    Good tale, in a Twilight Zone sort of way. Weston tells a tight, well-crafted wee story that, sadly (and perhaps intentionally) left me wanting to know more. A few minor grammatical gaffes, but they did nothing to mar the story's overall impact - and it had that, impact. Another Gary Weston reading treat. Again, well done. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Don't email When Drunk on Oct. 12, 2012

    Hilarious, and Weston's words of obviously hard-won wisdom in this area should be a lesson to all of us who occasionally make similar lapses in judgment. I only hope he treats us to more. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • Starlight Army on Oct. 14, 2012

    Gary Weston has done it again: written a book that tugs at our humanity. Weston does a masterful job of dispelling the myths of all bikers being gangsters caring only about booze, bikes, and broads and the one about animals being insensate creatures here only for humanity's amusement. His knack for dialogue is marvelous. I laughed out loud at some of the badinage among the bikers - I could see them drinking beer or some of Ferret's gods-awful cider and baiting each other good-naturedly. I've been there as have most people, I think, and his dialogue brought back some wonderful memories. Weston brings his characters to life and makes them real people, and someone we care about. I would be remiss, however, if I were to ignore a distressing amount of grammatical errors in this book. Spelling, incorrect homophone, things like that. These were annoying and I wish they had been rooted out and corrected before publishing, but there it is. That is not to say, however, that I dislike this book. I like it a great deal. It is one of the few books I shall hang onto and add to my library of treasures. I so very much admire Su Kane, Cerbarus, Uncle Garf, all the other members of the Revolting Animals Motorcycle Club and, especially, the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals. You all represent the best of us. Permit me to raise a wee pint of Guinness to you. Slainte! David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • The Amazing Abbey Jones on Oct. 18, 2012
    (no rating)
    Abbey Jones is one incredible young woman. Intelligent, resourceful, courageous, and loving despite never having known love, she lived more in fifteen years than most of us do in 80. My thanks to Weston for introducing her to me and telling her story. As usual, Weston tells a compelling story, this time about a truly remarkable woman. I'm not sure which I like best, actually: Weston's story-telling or Ms. Jones. It's a tossup. I heartily recommend this wonderful book to any who value strong, independent people, whatever their gender. Jones is no psychopathic user, but a person who faces life as it comes and still manages to look for the love in people. Huzzah, Mr. Weston! David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • The Amazing Abbey Jones on Oct. 18, 2012

    My apologies for not putting a star rating on my preview. This book merits more than a mere five stars, but this will have to suffice. David H. Keith
  • The Seer on Oct. 25, 2012

    A good tale, this. It held me through and the end was really a beginning. My congratulations to Mr. Connors.
  • The Angry Vagabonds on Oct. 26, 2012

    I truly enjoyed this wee tale. It wasn't all that difficult to deduce which creature he was writing about, but it was still quite entertaining. I most enjoyed the ending poem. It will wander through my mind for quite some time, I think. Good job! David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Elder Futhark Runes on Nov. 02, 2012

    I salute Ms. Sanders for writing this book. It could have been a valuable addition to the beginning Wiccan's library. Could have been. Unfortunately, it falls short on several points, the most egregious of which I shall mention here. First, and while this may seem a minor point, it actually matters quite a great deal. Remember, she allegedly wrote this to help those who had little or no knowledge of the runes understand and learn of them. That would behoove her to make sure her grammar and word usage is dead on correct. To begin with, she says at the beginning of chapter 1 that "An aettir (aett is plural)..." That is, according to www.sunnyway.com (and based upon my own knowledge of Germanic languages), incorrect. The word "aett" is actually the singular form of the noun and "aettir" is the plural. Most Germanic languages of which I am familiar will use a single sound ("aett," "haus," for example) for the singular, with a multisyllabic plural ("aettir," hausen.") I suspect Sanders is aware of this as she goes on in the rest of the book to use "aett" in the singular sense. Next, I think it would have been most helpful were she to include graphics actually showing each rune. What, exactly, does feoh look like? The (English) letter "f"? Which one: upper or lower case? From my knowledge of the Elder Futhark, the first letter looks nothing at all like either one. I fear Sanders has done a grave disservice to those who would actually benefit from her book by omitting the graphics. One final point. From where did she get the rune names, descriptions, and other data she gives for each one? You really need to cite your sources if you wish to be taken seriously by other scholars. As to the names she gives, neither www.omniglot.com or www.sunnyway.com agree with her. What she calls "feoh," for instance, is known as "fehu" on both sites. Her "thorn" is "Thurisaz" on the Sunnyway site and "Þurisaz" at Omniglot. I'm not debunking Ms. Sanders' names so much as asking her her source. This was a good idea of hers, and it can yet be a valuable resource for beginning Pagans or those who are simply interested in the Elder Futhark runes. I strongly recommend she go back and finish the book. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • Sherwood Ltd on Nov. 04, 2012

    I like this book. I REALLY like this book. It's not yer typical whodunnit, nor is the protagonist anything like a cop. Ms. Allen (or Ms. Deforges, as the case may be) has crafted a wily tale of murder, deceipt, and intrigue that can stand with the best of them. Her characters are all too real and her dialogue took me from laughter to chills to suspicion of everybody in the book. Good on her! Editorially, the book is also refreshingly well-done and all but devoid of grammatical or other such gaffes. This was obviously written by an intelligent woman who is also a fine story-teller. My congratulations to her. My suggestion? Read this book. It will be well worth the time. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • Hope on a Paige (Tales from the Dead Letter Office) on Nov. 10, 2012

    I'm at a loss for words here, which is virtually unheard of. This is one of the most hopeful, well-written, beautiful stories I have read in a long time. I was spell-bound and captivated from the beginning through to the end. Dvorak has done a masterful job of giving his reader a glimpse into the heart (and soul) of loneliness...and of hope. Well done! David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • The Fairy's Plight on Nov. 10, 2012

    This is a good story. It reminds me of the fairy tales I was told as a boy. My thanks to Ms. Dune for bringing back those wonderful memories. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • How Christianity was Invented on Nov. 11, 2012

    Very interesting - and all but guaranteed to raise the hackles of the "god-fearing" bible-thumpers who never question their priests. Huzzah! Sadly, I've deducted stars because of the poor format. I do credit Butler for citing his sources, but I think the overall format can use some work to make it more understandable for the less-learned. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • There Shouldn't Be Elves In Hammertown on Nov. 11, 2012

    An engaging story, this. I must admit I was a bit taken aback at elves being the antagonists - I've read too much Tolkien, I suppose. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised at Dorning's narrative. He weaves an easy-to-read yet intriguing story. I heartily recommend this tale and look forward to more. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • Lock Ness and Shame on Nov. 18, 2012

    Despite the apparent misspelling in the title, Ms. Wagoner has written a horror story that would make the old Friday night horror flicks sit up and take notice. The story is taut and focused and the characters are quite believable - and the horror is deliciously unremitting. I must confess that, at first, I was pretty sure this would be just another semiliterate waste of time. This attitude was caused, quite frankly, by the title. I mean, as every Scotsman knows, the proper name is Loch Ness. I congratulate Ms. Wagoner on drawing me into her tale of Celtic vengeance, and for playing with my mind in that title. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes a good scare or ghost story. Good job, although I did find the font and line distance to be annoying and distracting from the story. Even so, that did not in any real way detract from the story's impact. I look forward to more from Ms. Wagoner. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • 50 Reasons Why My Wife Is Amazing on Nov. 18, 2012

    Although a bit simplistic, this is a nice tribute to his wife - and that alone earns it five stars from me. I love my wife every bit as much as King does his, as anyone who knows me will attest. It's sad that most people are unwilling or unable to so openly express their love for their spouses. Good on King for having that courage. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • How He Comes Out of the Sun (A Digital Short Story) on Nov. 22, 2012

    I like this story. The language is genuine and not sanitized for polite conversation. I like that, both as a veteran and a writer. Although I've never been in a B-17, I can smell the lingering cordite and smoke - and fear of the crew - and feel the wind roaring through the tears in the fuselage. Clark has done a marvelous job of conveying the heroism - and the cowardice - in all of us who go to war. Unfortunately, like most books I read on Smashwords, Clark has left some typos and grammatical errors, but they really didn't detract all that much from his narrative. I do rather wish he'd published it as a stand-alone instead of a lead-in to a mystery thriller, but that's just me. This is one good war story, and I recommend it highly. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Twas The Night Before Christmas (When The Aliens Appeared) on Nov. 22, 2012

    A fun, quirky remake of Clement Moore's classic Christmas poem. It's worth the read. Set your phasers on "ROFL" and enjoy. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirst publications.weebly.com
  • The Paradox of The Origin Of Life on Dec. 08, 2012

    An interesting take on the time travel conundrum. I found the book itself a paradox: at once eminently readable and yet requiring a great deal of attention just to follow the story line. I like it. I recommend it. David H. Keith davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Revenge is Sweet on Dec. 11, 2012

    My chief complaint here is that the book ended much too soon. Johnson left just way too many things unexplained, unfinished, and untold. I do hope he takes pity upon us, his ardent readers, and finishes the bloody tale. I did catch a few grammatical or spelling gaffes, but nothing seriously distracting. I'll certainly not gig him all that much - his story is just much too well-told and captivating. Would I recommend this? In a hummingbird's heartbeat. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • How I Saved Humankind on Dec. 21, 2012

    A must read, this. Ms. Kraft has written an all-too-short piece that will make even the discriminating reader sit up and take notice. I was captivated by the first paragraph and couldn't have stopped reading if I'd tried. She made the central character so very real, even admitting to confusion and simply not knowing something. When I first encountered her "birds," I feared the story was going to be some "inspirational" sermon; I was thrilled to learn I was wrong. Instead, they are, what? Demons? Angels? Extraterrestrials? She leaves that for the reader to decide. Good on her! And, marvel of marvels, she does so without mangling the language AND pays close attention to the details of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. My hat's off to her. An all-around well-crafted story. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Freak on Dec. 24, 2012
    (no rating)
    An excellent and captivating story, well-written and well-put together. My congratulations to Ms. Brown for a attention-grabbing and poignant tale. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good read. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Deadly Negotiations on Dec. 30, 2012

    A riveting story, albeit a bit predictable. No matter - I was caught to the end. Armstrong tells a good story that more than makes up for its shortcomings with an allure that just won't let go.
  • Par For The Course on Dec. 30, 2012

    Frankly, I enjoyed this story. It has a quirky humor to it that is so exquisitely British. In my mind's eye, I could see this occuring anytime within the past four decades or even earlier. My hat's off to Mr. Morris. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.com
  • The Morality Game (A Short Story) on Jan. 17, 2013

    Love the ending and the message I received from it. The story itself was compelling and well-told. I highly recommend this and look forward to reading more of Cunningham's work. David H. Keith www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhkeith www.novemberfirstpublications/weebly.com
  • I Be Done Seen on Jan. 23, 2013

    I didn't think I'd like this, but I did...a lot. It's a well-written ditty about 21st Century meddling with nature gone wrong, with comical and very real human unwillingness to believe what their eyes are telling them. I recommend this to anyone who appreciates a chuckle or two. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Flashy Shorts on Jan. 23, 2013

    Excellent stories, these, and all with a twist at the end that may surprise some but others will see as inevitable. Either way, this is an enjoyable read. I recommend this without hesitation. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Lady of The Sidhe on Jan. 27, 2013

    Ms. O'Quinn/Driftwood has that refreshing ability to weave a memorable story from myth and, possibly, poetic license, not unlike the bards of old. I was captured by the title - being of Scot's descent and a follower of the Old Religion, to boot - and became even more entangled as the story progressed. Granted, some of her creatures are not of ancient times and myth but Tolkien's, but that in no way detracts from her tale. After all, *someone* has to be the bad guy, right? Might as well be Tolkien's quintessential bearers of evil, the Orcs. I did have one complaint, however, that bears mentioning. That is that, like so many beginning writers, Ms. O'Quinn/Driftwood fails to pay sufficient attention to the minutiae of story-telling: spelling, grammar, and even punctuation. In her case, that was merely a nuisance for she more than compensated with a compelling yarn full of sword- (and axe-) play, derring do, beautiful damsels, dashing men, and the requisite spice of romance. Would I recommend this book? In a hummingbird's heartbeat. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Free Running on Jan. 31, 2013

    I see I get the honor of being the first to review Wilde's sequel to his Mercedes Drew series. And it is, indeed, an honor. Wilde has not disappointed me yet with his often whimsical, always interesting tales that seem to stem from a warped mind. And he has failed to disappoint me with this offering, either. Sorry, Barnaby, but I must tell the truth. I will admit that Brit Lit is different reading from American, but I find that refreshing. If these were American stories, there'd be gunplay a'plenty, a hard-boiled, strong-jawed, head-bustin' detective and the requisite car chases. Not so in Wilde's England. There, the cops are all too human with their own shortcomings and misgivings. Detective Inspector Desmond Flowers is an excellent detective, but when it comes to his relationship with Ms. Drew, he is more than a bit clueless. As to gunplay, there was one shot fired in the whole book, and that from a World War (I, maybe) handgun fired by - well, I'm not going to give that part away. You'll just have to read the book to find out. Wilde is infamous for injecting humor into the most serious subjects and this book is no exception. His "car-chase" is one example, but let the reader beware: Wilde will ambush you at any turn. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries with a side-order of laughs. Wilde has done his usual bang-up job. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Voice Like a Cello & Bear Country on Jan. 31, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I do wish there were more of it. The stories are so very well-told and reminiscent of all those deliciously spine-tingling monster stories kids take such delight in. Very well-done, Ms. Cheek. I can't wait to read more of your work. I will not hesitate to recommend this book. David H. Keith davidkeith1.blogspot.com novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • For the One that I Love on Feb. 07, 2013

    These are three heart-felt, touching, and so very honest poems from a man's heart. I liked them a great deal and look forward to more of his poetry.
  • Thief on Feb. 07, 2013

    Now, this is what a story should be: intelligent, well-written and formatted, compelling, and with an ending that left me nodding in agreement. Well done, Mr. Smy. Well done. The story line itself has been used for millennia, I'm sure, but it never grows old when told right. Mr. Smy told it just spot on. I highly recommend this. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Nalani's Choice on Feb. 12, 2013

    An entertaining, if somewhat overused, tale of heroism in outer space to save Earth from itself. I found it most interesting that the other planet was based upon Hawaii instead of the usual white European godlet model. Good on Thompson for that. A good read for SF aficionados.
  • Journeys of the Dreamer on Feb. 13, 2013

    Spiffy. Just spiffy. A perfect summation of this collection of tales that are not so much science fiction as "Twilight Zone." Frankly, I like 'em...a lot. I could almost see Rod Serling standing there quietly narrating for us. My congratulations to Mr. Johnston. This collection is well-written and captures the reader. The pages flew by much too quickly. I heartily recommend this to anyone who enjoys a chill up the spine. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Last Long Walk Home on Feb. 17, 2013

    A touching, heart-rending story of one's loss of self, victim to time's tyranny. Written with compassion and love, Mr. Upton speaks as one who has lived with aging parents. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has parents. David H. Keith novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Strangers on Feb. 21, 2013

    Sadly riveting and all too possible. This may be only 2400 words, but Gregory has written a story that should be read by everyone. It is a well-deserved condemnation of our modern "civilized" world. And it is unutterably sad and not the least bit surprising. David H. Keith novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • 119 Witty Quotes From A to Z on Feb. 21, 2013

    A worthy resource for writers or those who simply want people to think they are. I think I'll follow Burke's advice as to what to do with this book. David H. Keith novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • In the Beginning on Feb. 22, 2013

    Mr. Csapo had me from the first paragraph and didn't disappoint with the last. I'll admit it: it didn't turn out at all as I'd envisioned. And *that* is is what story-telling is supposed to be. Read this. It'll either give you something to think about or cause you to scream "Blasphemy!" but it will not leave you feeling incomplete. David H. Keith novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Tapping at Twilight on Feb. 26, 2013

    Reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe, this book transports the reader back to Victorian England, but one much darker than it probably was in reality. Even the description evokes Poe's words. I was captured by Ms. Alvarado's dark tale of mystery from the beginning, and was not disappointed through the end. Anyone who enjoys Poe's dark stories will also enjoy this book. Kudos to Ms. Alvarado for a job well done. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Rag Doll on March 02, 2013

    I took McCombs' challenge. I wasn't scared, not one bit. That said, I *did* enjoy the piece very much and think McCombs has as warped an imagination as I have - which may be part of the reason I wasn't scared. Overall, very well-written without being preachy or pedantic- just a tiny, well-crafted tale of the macabre. Good job. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • In Memory - a Short Story on March 03, 2013

    Interesting story in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of way. Needs some proofreading, but is overall a good story. I will be interested in seeing what else Blackshear comes up with. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a touch of the bizarre.
  • Josephal on March 06, 2013

    If you like space operas with aliens that are virtually indestructible, a beautiful (and intelligent) woman and a gun-totin', slow-talkin', manly hero, then this is for you. If your tastes run to more intellectual pursuits, than probably not, but it's a good story anyway. At least it's something to read on a quiet night at work. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • It Never Was A Secret To Begin With on March 06, 2013

    I bought this book thinking it might be of some help to me. I was wrong. It is obvious to me that Nortje's first language is not English, which is not a crime by any means, but makes me wonder just why hesh chose to write in English, and without the aid of a native English-speaker. Nortje may have some good ideas, but I never made it past page 2 to find out - the writing was that atrocious and confusing. I truly wish I could say something good about this book, but I simply cannot. I would suggest that Nortje enlist the aid of someone who is fluent in English and English grammar, and then publish that and remove this. Hesh is doing no one any good by allowing this version to stand. David H. Keith
  • The Painted Killer on March 07, 2013

    Being a child of the Sixties, I was transported back to happier memories. Even though Vietnam raged and the Civil Rights movement was accused of tearing the country apart, it was a simpler time. Neal captures the flavor of that time so well in this book. I could smell the incense and see all those beautiful flower children. For that alone, I thank him. He doesn't just let it go at that, though. Nope. He writes a compelling mystery story as well, one with a refreshing twist to the end. His cops are what I remember of those times and my time in the streets as a Paramedic: cynical, hard-bitten, but very human - a marked contrast to what we see today. This is a human story, peopled by real people with real fears and wants and foibles. And, to top this treat off, Neal writes with intelligence, style, and no discernible editorial faux pas. Can't beat that combination. My heartiest recommendation to anyone who enjoys a compelling whodunit. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Final Battle on March 11, 2013

    Dr. Rao brings up some interesting and crucial points here. Sadly, I feel he has only begun and should continue this story. Frankly, I am most curious about the UNO's conclusions and subsequent recommendations. Believing as I do about my fellow humans, I doubt much would change except a new god would be born, a new messiah proclaimed, and the beat would go on. Still, one can hope. Technically, it is obvious Dr. Rao is not a native English speaker, but that really doesn't matter. His grammar and other gaffes are relatively inconsequential and easily overlooked. Dr. Rao has crafted a timely and thought-provoking story. I applaud him and heartily recommend this wee book. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublicaitons.weebly.com
  • Mother Goose: An Empire Falls on March 11, 2013

    All right, Van Dyk, you have forever changed my vision of the world of fairy tales; in fact, you and that Goldilocks woman have utterly destroyed the thing. I hope you're happy. This is a marvelous sequel to Van Dyk's "Goldilocks: Blonde Assassin" and carries the story to its inevitable conclusion. I recommend you read the Goldilocks book first so that you'll understand the back-story; hence, achieve maximum reading pleasure from the two. Make sure you read both books, too, or you will cheat yourselves of a tour-de-force duo that will make you smile and may even shock you right out of your complacence. Read these books. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Dying for Dusty on March 12, 2013

    Brown wrote a touching, poignant story about a young woman who finally grows up and finds herself with the help of an aging Nam vet and a young man carrying his own burdens from childhood. Despite heartbreak and loss of a husband and innocence, the girl becomes a caring, independent, and loving woman. That is a journey everyone faces, but Brown's protagonist comes out at the end stronger and wiser. I'm glad I read this. I have had the pleasure of knowing women like Lizbeth and have the honor of being married to one. I am grateful for that and to Brown for writing this book. This should be a must read for everyone. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • What Neither Star nor Sun Shall Waken: A Sci-Fi Horror Story on March 12, 2013

    This is a well-crafted, taut story that could very well leave the more innocent reader with nightmares. While some of the hard science may seem a bit implausible, that just doesn't matter for the science of it is secondary to a plain old-fashioned scary story, the sort we loved to watch late of a Friday night.
  • Elderberry Croft: Volume 1 on March 15, 2013

    I purchased this book during Smashwords' Read an Ebook Week and I am glad I did. Although disappointed at the end, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I found the story itself captivating and I really do want to know what happens next in the lives of these people - and, of course, what's really bugging Willow Goodhope. And that's where the disappointment comes in. Like most people, I want closure to this tale, but I am content to wait. Ms. Doughty is a wonderful storyteller, if a bit overmuch on the religious side, and has woven a compelling story with quite believable characters with whom I can easily identify. We've all known people like these, which makes Doughty's book all the more worth the read. I recommend this book to anyone who likes an intelligently written and compelling book. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Abductee on March 18, 2013

    Every once in awhile a book comes into one's life that is technically difficult to wade through but whose story is fascinating enough to make the effort worthwhile. This is such a book. The author certainly plays fast and loose with the rules of grammar, spelling, and the rest, but he weaves a compelling story that made me keep on reading to the end. I'm glad I did, although I would have appreciated the nuances much more had the author been as attentive to the craft of writing as he was to the art of it. I'd love to give this story five stars, but I just cannot. Not because of the story, but of how Marlinski put it together. That's really too bad, too, because it really is a marvelous story. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Lost on March 19, 2013

    Without giving George's story away, I'll just say that I found the point of view to be one that is too rarely explored, and George did so masterfully. From the beginning, I felt pulled along by curiosity and dread until the very last. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy an unusual and somewhat gut-wrenching story. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Wessex Tales: "A Short Walk in France" (Story 30) on March 23, 2013

    A harsh, sobering, and completely accurate description of combat that is reminiscent of "All's Quiet on the Western Front." Although set in 1916 France, it could very well have been anywhere from Stalingrad to Inchon, Ia Drang Valley, Baghdad, or anywhere in Afghanistan. Fripp pulls no punches in naming those responsible for the slaughter of a generation of young men: the blood-thirsty generals and craven politicians who, like the ghouls they are, thrive off the bodies of the young. This book is so very timely in these hate-filled days of continual war. I wish I could say it would help end the slaughter, but it won't. Politicians and generals and big business will continue to manufacture excuses to murder the young - and the young, sadly, will allow themselves to be murdered. As the folk song says, "when will they ever learn?" Five stars without hesitation and highly recommended reading for everyone. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Organized Chaos on March 23, 2013

    In poetry more than any other form of creative writing, every word absolutely must be carefully chosen for every word is a jewel that will either enhance the crown's beauty or mar it. Amanda has chosen well her words in this collection of depression, loss, love, and hope - emotions that are universal to all who have hearts and souls. I look forward to reading more of her soul-songs. The only caveat I have for Amanda is to be as meticulous with the details of spelling and format as she is with her thoughts. A carelessly spelled word will mar the beauty of the crown every bit as much as a poorly chosen one. I strongly suggest she go back through her book and catch these errors and correct them. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Voices from the Grain - Ostara 2013 on March 23, 2013

    Although not exactly what I'd envisioned it to be, I still found it interesting, particularly the opening essay. I had thought it would be more of an explanation of Ostara from the Pagan perspective, intended more for the nonpagan audience; instead, it's really just Pagan to Pagan. That's well and good, mind, just not what I'd thought it would be. The book is nevertheless easy to read and well-written. I especially appreciated the Works Cited section of Everson's essay - very professionally written. I didn't fact-check it, so I cannot speak to the accuracy, but his taking the time to include the thing smacks of a high degree of scholarship and I thank him for that. If the reader already knows the significance of Ostara, I think this will be a nice reminder; however, I wonder just how valuable the nonPagan reader will find it. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Raven's Eye View on March 23, 2013

    Ms. Bird paints a beautiful, well-crafted Creation story from her people with this book. Her voice is melodious and one can easily hear a First Nations' grandfather or grandmother telling this to the tribe's young ones. It ended all too soon for this man, yet it ended when it should have. Bird has done a masterful job here. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Short Stories, Sweet and Sour Fiction on March 24, 2013

    I wasn't sure just what to expect when I opened this book, but it nevertheless surprised me. The stories range from interesting to total and pleasant surprise and laughter. Palmer has written a book for those who enjoy a twist to their stories, a departure from where the reader expects the story to go. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of Palmer's and recommend it to everyone. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Life and Times of Chester Mulroon on March 24, 2013

    I knew young men like Chester Mulroon and I lived through his times - I was one of those young men. I held some of them as they died, knowing all my skill and knowledge could do nothing for them. I thought, as the years passed, that I had finally healed from that war...I was wrong. DeLong's tribute to Chester Mulroon brought back many memories and evoked a great deal of pain, but I suppose it needed doing. For that, I thank him. DeLong tells a powerful, poignant, and all too real story of Vietnam and the young people who fought and died so that politicians and corporate CEOs could further enrich themselves. I think this book should be required reading in every school so that maybe, just maybe, the common person will at last refuse the siren call of other men's wars. A futile hope, that, but one I believe is well worth the effort. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Voodoo Doll on March 28, 2013
    (no rating)
    Some books are hits, some misses. This is a miss; in fact, it is not even in the same range. I'm not sure just what age range the author aimed this, but he misses all of those who are able to read. The story is one-dimensional, vapid, and inane. What dialog there is sounds like it was ripped from a C-movie. My advice to readers? Skip this one. Absolutely no stars.
  • Star Wanderers: Outworlder (Part I) on March 29, 2013

    In the grand tradition of Heinlein, Azimov, and Bradbury, Vasicek creates a universe of flawed humanity reaching beyond this Earth. Flawed though his characters are, they are at the same time ennobled by harsh lessons learned by their forebears striving for enlightenment. The characters and situations they find themselves in depict an ideal us, an us that we *can* become if we but become a bit wiser and gentler with each other. I enjoyed this book more than I have any science fiction in years. The characters are so very believable and the story, while a bit predictable (but most human behavior is predictable), is touching and left me with a sense of satisfection and desire to know more about Vasicek's universe. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Sholpan on March 30, 2013

    Excellent story. Vasicek gives a great depth to the characters in this prequel to the "Star Wanderer" series. Although written separate from the series, it should be considered a crucial part of "Star Wanderer." David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Wife (Award Winning Short Story) on April 04, 2013

    Mr. Poj has written a taut, suspenseful, and tragic tale of love gone horribly wrong. I was riveted, and completely unprepared for the ending. I highly recommend this short, compelling story to everyone who enjoys a dash of horror with their reading. It's easy to see why this one is an award-winner. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Seven Ways to Meet People - Before They Know What Hit Them! on April 09, 2013
    (no rating)
    As a child, I was taught "if you can't say something nice, then say nothing at all." So...
  • The Old Schoolhouse on April 09, 2013

    This is a heart-warming, nostalgic look back at simpler, gentler times when children were free to be children. I well remember my own childhood, although I grew up on a farm in western Missouri in the United States and not the enchanted land of Cuchulainn, leprechauns, and bain sidhes. Even so, I remember a magic that is open only to children. I thank Ms. Ryan for evoking those memories in me. Ryan writes in an intelligent, easy-to-read manner and her descriptions of childhood antics (I especially loved the donkey adventure) are full of fun and so very well told. In short, I was enchanged by this book. I highly recommend this to all who have happy memories of their childhood. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Fin's Story on April 10, 2013

    Powerful, evocative, well-written. An absolute must-read for all who care about their fellow-humans. Reads as if written by one who has been there. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Most Intelligent Orc in the World on April 23, 2013

    An interesting twist to cassic Orc persona. I liked it. The story was very well-written, articulate, and a pleasure to read. My congratulations to Mr. Gunter.
  • Flandra on May 08, 2013

    Another excellent Wilde offering. As usual, well-written and held my attention until the end - and, again, it ended much too soon, thankyouverymuch. I noticed a few minor technical gaffes, but nothing important. As with all the other Barnaby Wilde books I have reviewed, I highly recommend this latest series of yarns about Mercedes Drew and her police inspector paramour. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Reprise on May 25, 2013
    (no rating)
    What the hell is this???? First, the "story" has absolutely no connection whatsoever to the description. Second, it's not a story - the beginning or middle of one, maybe, but nowhere near being a story in its own right. It has no beginning, no conflict, and no resolution. Third, it's just plain lame. Methinks Mr. Gatlin really should go back on his meds or, at the very least, make absolutely certain he is publishing what he intends to publish. Not a single star from me. None.
  • This Old Rock on June 03, 2013

    An excellent read. I don't know the accuracy of the science, but the stories (I'm including the bonus chapters in this review) are very well written with believable and very human characters (except for the parrot fish, of course)and human foibles. Anyone who grew up on Azimov and Heinlein and Bradbury really should read this book. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Echoes of a Hunter on June 27, 2013

    A good yarn, this, and with a marvelous climax that just added to the spice. I was captured by Benjamin's taut storytelling and timing; however, I was disappointed in the mechanics of the story. Although I am American, I have read a great deal of British literature and know that the basic rules of grammar and punctuation apply to both dialects, so to see an otherwise well-done story marred by poor technique is disappointing and just plain sad. For the story itself, five stars; for far too many technical mistakes, deduct one. Sad, that. I would recommend that Benjamin go back through this and correct these errors. Then, he will have a story that is indeed well-done. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Twisted Sisters on July 21, 2013

    Duke tells a good story here, although I was a bit disappointed at the end. It left far too many questions - who was the killer? Motive? What happened to Ally? I just hope Duke is planning on rescuing me and other readers he's left hanging on his cliff. One really good point is that he not only tells a captivating and very interesting story, but he does so with full attention to the minutiae of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Good on him! That makes reading the story so much more pleasant. Highly recommended. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com
  • Friday Night Knife and Gun Club on July 21, 2013

    Ms. Collison has written a frightening and depressing story about a future that very well could become reality, given the proliferation of the gun culture in contemporary American society. That she, herself, is a nurse adds to the chilling possibilities. The woman knows her subject all too well - I know this because I, too, work in a hospital ICU and spent almost 10 years on the streets as a Paramedic. Her descriptions of current medical equipment and procedures is spot on. What made this book even more well-done is that she took the time to see to the minutiae of grammar, et al. That is the mark of a professional writer. My thanks to her. Read this book. You need to, given the culture in the United States today. She calls it a satire, but it could far too easily become prophetic. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Hunters on Aug. 03, 2013

    I liked this wee story, even though I found it more than a bit predictable. Perhaps that's more an indication of my own warped imagination than any criticism of the story, though, so I won't downgrade the story for that. I was pleased to see that it was well-written and that Ramon paid due attention to the little things like grammar and its cousins - the things that make a passing story a good read. And that's what it is: a good read. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Letting Go on Aug. 18, 2013

    I get it. I would have preferred a bit more backstory, but I get it. Good job. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.com
  • Sir Thaydrin the High Elf on Sep. 19, 2013

    Well-written. An engaging story that held me to the end. Sadly, there were some grammatical errors that jarred my attention to the tale - for instance, the author wrote in at least two places, "he lied down." That is to me akin to fingernails on a chalkboard. The past tense of "lay" is also "lay," so it should have read "he lay down." Still, the story deserves being read and enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading more of O'Toole's stories. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Ghosts of Florence Pass on Oct. 31, 2013

    This could be a good story. Could be. Sadly, Mr. Anderson has chosen to eschew common grammatic conventions, the result of which is a book that is apparently completely devoid of dialogue. Oh, I know it's there - I can figure that out - but it's much too distracting to bother. Quotation marks are here for a reason: to make the reader's job easier and keep himer engaged and involved in the story. Sadly, that didn't happen here. I give him two stars for the concept of the story and his overall writing talent. It would have rated a solid five stars were he more attentive to the things that loom large when missing.
  • Warm October on Oct. 31, 2013

    We hippies used to say of something like this, "Wow, maaaan, what were you smokin.?" I loved this journey into a sanity not usually seen. I highly congratulate Ms. Axe for a pleasant little mind trip through a world surreal but not all that dark. A marvelous Halloween read, this. Highly recommend. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • GIT: Halloween on Oct. 31, 2013

    Love it. This fella Git is a man to be admired, I say. Sort of reminds me of me, y'know? Now, I don't hate the holiday, mind, but I do so despise the commercialization and silliness and sheer cynical greed that has come to be associated with what is, really, my most sacred day of the year. But, then, the Christians' top two sacred days (at the least) have also been turned into retail circuses. Congratulations to Mr. Git for having none of that. And congratulations to Marc Corn for writing a funny and thought-provoking wee tale. I highly recommend this book. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Valiant on Nov. 28, 2013

    I found this to be an exciting story and a good read. That said, however, I was saddened at the way it was put together - it just wasn't finished. It would have been excellent if the author had simply taken the time to proofread the thing before putting it up here. Just simple proofreading. I simply cannot recommend this book in its present form. I strongly suggest Siddoway redo it, and this time proofread it, or, better yet, hire a professional to proofread it.
  • Sing: A Short Memoir on Dec. 07, 2013

    Tragic, poignant, well-told...what there is of it. I feel badly for the author, but he left me disappointed in the end - far too many questions and loose ends left unresolved. I would encourage Laxton to finish the story - I think he needs to for himself and his readers. This could be a very powerful story of fraternal love and loss. One minor point about the techniques. When addressing a person by name, always put a comma between whatever it is you're saying and the person's name or title. For example, "What do you mean, Bill? Jim, is the salsa hot enough for you?" As I said, relatively minor, but nonetheless important. David H. Keith www.davidkeith1.blogspot,com
  • The Bully on Dec. 07, 2013

    Lose the line numbers. They are distracting, unnecessary, and amateur. This is a short fiction story - not a legal paper. Frankly, I didn't finish this book - I simply got tired of trying to overcome those line numbers. That's too bad, too, because I found the story's premise intriguing, if a wee bit Walter Mittyish - hey, everyone would like to go back and teach the school bully a lesson, right? There were some technical errors, as well, but they were relatively minor and nothing a competent editor can't root out and correct. I hope Gerzoff gets rid of those line numbers - they were the fingernails on the blackboard to me. Still, it's a cool idea, the premise of it. For that reason, I give this three stars. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpubications.weebly.com
  • Sketches in the Air on Dec. 29, 2013

    Huzzah! Ms. Gibbs has managed to impress me with a quintet of well-written, intelligent, and satisfying short stories. Not only that, but they are technically correct - spelling, grammar, punctuation, all those little things that so many would-be writers scoff at. This is some serious wirting here, and I am most pleased to highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys good writing and marvelous story-telling. Frankly, I'd give this book more than five stars if I could. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Farmer's Grove on Dec. 29, 2013

    Ms. Puccia has crafted a taut, suspenseful short story that will leave you feeling like a little kid again and having just watched "Tales from the Crypt" or one of its cousins. The surprise climax will cause you to re-evaluate some close-held assumptions. Intelligently written and blessedly free of grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors, I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, scary yarn. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Barnaby's Shorts (Volume 7) on Jan. 13, 2014

    Barnaby Wilde has a wonderful knack of spinning a fabulous yarn and this, his seventh collection of his shorts, is vintage Wilde. I find myself wondering if The Yarn Man isn't more autobiographical than fiction. I do look forward to your eighth collection. I'm hooked, ye sod. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Goddess's Warrior on Jan. 28, 2014

    Mr. Hicks had an interesting idea and I especially liked his protagonist being female. That's unfortunately not enough to salvage this simplistic, poorly written, predictable story of a young woman who saves saves her people and vanquishes the evil almost with no help at all from the men-folk. I find this sexist and demeaning. I would also strongly advise the author to hire a competent editor as this book is rife with spelling, context, syntax, and a plethora of other errors that made it hard for me to read and finish. As a basic idea, it has merit...as a finished product, it failed to live up to expectations. I *will* give him two stars, though, for trying. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Secret Ones Volume 1 on Jan. 30, 2014

    I fully enjoyed O'Quinn's handling of characters both from Celtic folklore and more contemporary authors such as Tolkien and Stoker. She has a knack for blending all these disparate (and dangerous) creatures into a tasty stew, indeed. I enjoyed her earlier "Lady of the Sidhe" and I do look forward to reading more about her world. That said, I was disappointed by the technical gaffes, particularly punctuation and missing words. Those, and there were more than a few of them, were distracting and annoying and detracted from my overall enjoyment. Even with these stumbling blocks, I found her book well worth the read. It will delight the most ardent fantasy/monster aficionado. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Smile for the Camera on Feb. 14, 2014

    Fans of the motorcycle-riding, outspoken, amateur crime-solver Mercedes Drew (absolutely NOT to be confused with her older cousin, Nancy) will not be disappointed with this latest of her adventures. As always, Wilde drags us into the underbelly of contemporary English society with this tale of Drew's boyfriend and Detective Inspector Desmond Flowers's search for a gang of thieves who are stripping valuable paintings from local country manors. His search is interrupted by the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl who may be in peril. Unasked, as usual, Ms. Drew involves her biker buddies Dog Tooth, Mike, brother Ben, and other bikers in the search for the girl. Filled with a measure of suspense, a smattering of police procedural, and a health dollop of Wilde's signature humor, this is a tale that will very probably cause you to drop everything else short of life-threatening crisis and read it through, despite presentation errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Highly recommended. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Mystery of the Dead Squirrels on Feb. 15, 2014

    Squirrels are dying of unknown causes. The local community reacts not only with complacence but with downright hostility. Even humans who have expressed interest in the phenomenon have died. Why? Well, to find out the answer to that, Pilgrim, you're going to have to read the book. Torrington has written an entertaining wee mystery that will draw the reader along for the ride and feel satisfied at the end. Hiser human characters are real: sometimes devious, often without much of a clue, courageous, and outrageous. WARNING! This story may leave readers with an unnatural desire to read more of Torrington's books. You have been warned. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • On Heroes: A Foible on Feb. 20, 2014

    'Tis enough to make a bureaucrat cringe in fear, so 'tis. Ms. Skylark has written a scathing indictment of modern society in a way reminiscent of Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" and has done so in an intelligent, well-written manner. My congratulations to her and I recommend this book to all those disaffected, would-be heroes out there. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Insects and Elephants on March 05, 2014

    Frankly, I like this. I didn't think I would, but I did...a great deal. Haley has written a book that should scare the bejesus out of you if you sincerely care about the Constitution and how big business and its servant, the gubmint, are attacking and doing their level best to destroy it utterly. In the vein of "1984" or "Guliver's Travels" or "Animal Farm," Haley paints a grim picture of what I fear this nation is becoming. And she does so with an aplomb and intelligence that can only be described as superb. This is a must read book. Of course, far too many members of current society will disagree with Haley's ideas, if they even get it. I will issue a warning here, however: if you are averse to thinking for yourself, then this book probably is not for you. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Bad Apple on March 10, 2014

    A well-told parable. Although the moral of the tale is a bit predictable, the telling of it still captures the reader's attention and leaves himer with a sense of satisfaction - it ended as it had to. St. Clair has done a fine job with this. I recommend it without hesitation. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Taboo (CSI Reilly Steel #1) on March 12, 2014

    I enjoyed this. The protagonist is believable, as are most of the characters. That the story takes place in Dublin makes it almost ideal - Glasgow or Edinburgh would have been more to this Scotsman's liking, but I still enjoyed this story immensely. Ireland is a gorgeous country and any story that takes place there is one I will gladly read. Taut, suspenseful, with plenty of clues for the whodunnit buff and forensics enough to please all but the most hardened CSI addict, it delves deeply into the psyche of a true monster - not the Hollywood caricature but the real monsters among us, and there are plenty. Hill has done a masterful job of showing just how horrible these real-life monsters are. My only complaint - and, sadly, enough to prevent me giving a solid five stars, is the formatting. Missing words, improper punctuation, and far too many grammatical errors for it to be a case of simple typos made the story difficult to stay with for me by interrupting the narrative flow. That's too bad, too, because Hill is one fine story-teller. I recommend this book, although with the caveat to expect potholes caused by all those missing words, etc. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Life and Death on March 21, 2014

    Superb stories, these. Sobering, thought-provoking, relatable to anyone who has a conscience, and so very intelligently written. Read this. It might change your thinking. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • Nessie on March 28, 2014

    This is an interesting slant on the Nessie legend, and very well written. Succinct, to the point, and devoid of needless verbosity, it's a quick and most pleasant read. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • A World of Worlds on April 02, 2014

    This is a marvelous collection of short stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres. The stories are not only well thought out and intelligently written, but the technical aspects of the production (editing, overall format, et al.) are refreshingly well-crafted. There are a few gaffes, but none that really robbed any story of its thunder or flow. My congratulations to the writers of the ASMSG. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
  • Dos and Don'ts for Indie Authors on April 12, 2014

    At last, a how-to for aspiring writers that is after my own heart. As an editor, I share Fireblade's beliefs and passion for the written word whole-heartedly, and strive for no less than the best from every client. As an author, I demand these things from myself. As a reader, I will simply toss unread any book that plays fast and loose with grammar, spelling (including contextual), punctuation, and the other aspects of good story-telling. Intelligently written, cogent, and telling it like it is without being preachy, the authors have done a magnificent job. I strongly recommend this book to all those who aspire to being real authors. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com
  • The Wild, Wild Quest: Book One on April 22, 2014

    The Good: This is an interesting tale written in the style of the old dime novels. Full of action, larger-than-life heroes, dastardly villians, monsters, and adhering to the Cooooooode of the West. Sadly, there's The Bad: I found it tedious and actually painful to read because of The Ugly: Mr. Johnson apparently feels no need to even do a quick re-read, much less a formal proofread and edit. It's like he just tossed a bunch of words in, stirred them up a bit, didn't notice (or didn't care about) those that were tossed out of the pot, and shoved it, uncooked, into publication. This disrespect of his readers is amateurish at best, borderline criminal at worst. Suggestion: Yank this thing forthwith. Take the time and expend the effort to care enough about the readers to fix the omitted words, misspellings, punctuation, and just plain wrong words, then republish. Do that and readers will thank him. I certainly will. I've not read volumes 2 & 3 yet - nor do I intend to. This one left too bitter a taste in my mouth. And that's a real pity.
  • 14 Stones on April 25, 2014

    I must admit that I downloaded this book with trepidation, being as I download so many books here that are poorly written and seem to be published just so that the author can claim to be a writer. Telegdi's book, however, is a breath of very welcome fresh air. The man knows how to capture and hold a reader - and to do it in an intelligent, coherent, and well-edited manner. I found myself caught up in Chaiko's world from the first paragraph. I could sense his frustration, sorrow, and pain at no longer being able to become a Hunter. I'll not give any spoilers, but Chaiko finds himself and learns that even impossible dreams sometimes can become reality. If you enjoy a taut, compelling adventure story filled with danger, suspense, and human drama, then you'll love this one. I highly recommend it. David H. Keith www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly,com